Now Open: The Inaugural Edition of DESIGN MIAMI.LA

May 2024 – The inaugural edition of DESIGN MIAMI.LA opens today, taking place until May 20, 2024 at a private Holmby Hills estate. The fair’s Curatorial Director, Ashlee Harrison, offers a dynamic program of collectible design, serving as a testament to California’s rich design heritage as an international arbiter of taste. From the post-war mid-century design boom and car culture, to the entertainment industry and space age engineering, the fair explores themes of eclecticism, imagination, and nostalgia – all integral to the city’s design landscape.

Wexler Gallery presents Lynx Table by Judy Kensley McKie at DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Charles White / JW Photography for Design Miami)
Lebreton at DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Joshua White / JW Photography for Design Miami)


The fair presents a lineup of many of the world’s leading international design galleries, offering an array of highlight historic and contemporary works – reflecting Design Miami’s place as the global platform for collectible design, while also remaining strongly rooted in the design scene of the fair’s new host city of Los Angeles. 

Friedman Benda (New York/Los Angeles) presents a curated group exhibition with an emphasis on LA-based design practices as well as international exhibitors, with highlight works from Darren Romanelli, Carmen D’Apollonio, Farrell Hundley, Misha Kahn, and Samuel Ross. 

Todd Merrill Studio at DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Charles White / JW Photography for Design Miami)
Carpenters Workshop Gallery at DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Charles White / JW Photography for Design Miami)

Following the recent opening of a second location in Melrose Hill, Los Angeles, Southern Guild (Cape Town/Los Angeles) responds to Ashlee Harrison’s curatorial theme with a  booth exhibition that sensitively weaves narratives of hyper-sentimentalism, nostalgia, ecological concerns, craft traditions, and social politics. The presentation highlights the fair as an international contemporary design platform, offering a globalized presentation of notable designers including Zanele Muholi, Zizipho Poswa, Porky Hefer, Andile Dyalvane, Rich Mnisi, Cheick Diallo, Nandipha Mntambo, King Houdekpinkhou, Patrick Bongoy and others. 

Southern Guild at DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Charles White / JW Pictures for Design Miami)
Southern Guild at DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Charles White / JW Pictures for Design Miami)

Another highlight comes from R & Company (New York), showcasing a combination of works by contemporary designers based on the West Coast – including Hun Chung Lee, Rogan Gregory, and Jolie Ngo, in a presentation that explores a design dialogue seeking to develop new avenues for growth in the industry. Meanwhile, The Future Perfect (New York/Los Angeles/San Francisco) responds to the classical decor of the Holmby Hills estate housing the inaugural edition of the fair, through a presentation of works that offer subtle magnitude and quiet importance. The exhibition presents works by Genesis Belanger, created in collaboration with Bower Studios, also spotlighting works by Jane Yang-D’Haene, Chris Wolston, Leena Similu, and Eric Roinestad. Presenting a melange of designers together in one conversation, the gallery draws a constellation around contemporary design and its place in history.

The Future Perfect at DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Joshua White)
Salon 94 Design at DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Joshua White / JW Photography for Design Miami)


Curated by Ashlee Harrison, the DESIGN MIAMI.LA Podium exhibition, titled Masterworks of Collectible Design, provides a historic and contemporary survey of design’s pivotal moments, in a curated selling exhibition that pays homage to the masters of design and propels their visions into the contemporary realm. Echoing the ethos of this year’s fair, these works link past and present, exploring themes of nostalgia and cultural heritage, imagination and pop culture, and iconic moments of innovation. 

Notions of nostalgia and cultural heritage are brought to life through pieces such as Samuel Ross‘s 2021 Foreign body of chalk and iron, which uses stark, industrial materials to articulate the enduring struggles and disruptions of the African diaspora, or Andile Dyalvane‘s sculpture, Nkcokocha (Mountain Peak), which uses black clay and wenge timber to evoke the landscapes and narratives of his South African homeland.

A land of dreamers and creators, California has always been fertile ground for risk-taking and avant-garde thinking across all realms of design. Imagination and pop culture are examined through works such as  Ingrid Donat‘s Commode aux Engrenages, which evokes the mechanical beauty of the industrial age as depicted in Charlie Chaplin’s film Modern Times, or The KAWS Chair Black by KAWS and Estudio Campana which elevates stuffed toys from popular media into high art.

Exploring how Southern California has driven pivotal moments in design innovation, Podium also chronicles pivotal moments in modern history that have advanced design through the innovation of technique and the mastery of materials. Maria Pergay‘s 1968 Ring Chair, inspired by the spiral peeling of an orange, is a testament to her radical use of stainless steel, elevating the industrial material through its sophisticated application. Flashing forward to the contemporary era,Joris Laarman redefines metalworking once again through technological advancements in 3D printing, exemplified in his Microstructures Gradient Lounge, with each component digitally engineered to optimize form and function. 


Design Miami presents an engaging Design at Large program, showcasing works in dialogue with the surroundings of the Holmby Hills Estate. A selection of fifteen pieces from a total of 8 galleries are presented throughout the house and across the gardens. 

Highlights include award winning set designer and artistic director, Shona Heath’s Lilyfoot. Created in collaboration with 1882 Ltd (Stoke-on-Trent) Lilyfoot is a limited-edition sculptural light crafted in stoneware, wood, and opalescent glass. Southern Guild (Cape Town/Los Angeles) presents Rich Mnisi’s concrete chaise titled Rhulani (Peace). The design is a powerful evocation of the transfer of knowledge between generations. The work’s rounded, sensual forms and imposing physicality made from concrete is in homage to the memory of Mnisi’s late great-great-grandmother, whose teachings have lived on in his family through the generations. Meanwhile, Salon 94 Design (New York) presents two chairs by the late Gaetano Pesce: the Pratt and Jeanne Chair. Twentieth Gallery (Los Angeles) showcases five works by Julian Mayor dating between 2014 and 2023.

DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credit: Charles White / JW Photography for Design Miami)
DESIGN MIAMI.LA 2024 (Image credits: Charles White / JW Photography for Design Miami)


The inaugural edition will welcome a robust talks program, curated by Harrison and created in partnership with Architectural Digest. The program will present a dynamic series of talks, which will each welcome a panel of curators, industry leaders, and boundary pushing designers.

​Highlights from the talks program include: 

Art Is Not A Thing, It Is A Way
Thursday, May 16, 2:00PM – 3:00PM
Art is not a thing; it is a way” was coined by American writer Elbert Hubbard, to suggest that art transcends physical objects, representing a process and a lifestyle. The quote, and title of this talk, portrays art as a holistic way of interacting with the world, emphasizing creativity and personal expression. Essence Harden (Curator and Writer), Zanele Muholi (Visual Activist and Artist), Ben Tollefson (SCAN Curator), and Key Jo Lee (Chief Of Curatorial Affairs and Public Programs, Museum of the African Diaspora) will consider this quote and discuss ways in which despite racial, gendered, sexual, and class prejudices – artistic creation always persists. 

Art of Noise
Friday, May 17, 3:45PM – 4:45PM
This engaging panel, moderated by Joseph Becker (Associate Curator of Architecture and Design at SFMoMA) will welcome Wesley Katzir (Founder of Common Wave Hi-Fi), Kevin Carney (Owner of LA’s Mohawk General Store) and Tana Yonas (Editorial & Programing Contributor at In Sheep’s Clothing HiFi) in a discussion exploring the fusion of sound, design, and technology. The speakers will present valuable insights into creative immersive sound environments while celebrating music culture and the intersection of sound with art, design, and lifestyle. 

Collecting Design: Contemporary Perspectives 
Saturday, May 18, 2:00PM – 3:00PM
Featuring Ashlee Harrison (DESIGN MIAMI.LA Curatorial Director), Alison Palevsky (Interior Designer and Consultant), Wendy Kaplan (Department Head and Curator, Decorative Arts and Design, Los Angeles County Museum of Art), Simon Haas (Haas Brothers), and Johanna Grawunder (Artist and Designer) in a discussion that will navigate the defining elements of collectible design. The conversation will spotlight influential artists and galleries shaping this realm, and distinguish between functional and decorative objects.

The Smart Set
Sunday, May 19, 4:00PM – 5:00PM
Ryan Murphy (Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director) and Mayer Rus (Architectural Digest West Coast Editor) will engage in a discussion around Murphy’s approach to conjuring provocative cinematic worlds for his film and television productions, designing homes with a singular point of view, and his wide-ranging adventures in collecting art and design.

Please find the full talks program here.

See Also


The DESIGN MIAMI.LA Honorary Committee has been established as an expression of the fair’s gratitude to a select group of individuals, each of whom have played an integral role in bringing the inaugural DESIGN MIAMI.LA to fruition. Individuals across a diverse set of industries include award-winning screenwriter, producer, and director Ryan Murphy, DJ and Record Producer Zack Bia, and LA based designer Kelly Wearstler. Together, this community of celebrated names has helped bring the vision of DESIGN MIAMI.LA to life through creative collaboration: a defining value. Please find more on the committee list here

Kohler x SR_A present Formation 01 and Formation 02

Global leader in kitchen and bathroom design, Kohler Co., in collaboration with award-winning British artist and designer Dr. Samuel Ross and his industrial design studio SR_A, will present two limited-edition designs from the brands’ partnership. The Kohler x SR_A partnership embraces Ross’s avant-garde artistic approach, while honoring Kohler’s more than 150-year legacy of innovation and craftsmanship in the development of a new design language for water solutions. 

Cast as one singular object, Formation 01 is a breakthrough design featuring striking angles and industrial bold Haptic Orange color, that defies the traditional design and performance of a bathroom faucet. Meanwhile, Formation 02, the limited-edition smart toilet unveiled at Milan Design Week, draws inspiration from the velocity and power of water in nature. Through these new designs, Ross intends to amplify the movement and experience of water offering a place of reconsideration among daily objects and rituals. 

Open App

Design Miami is also pleased to welcome Open App to the LA fair. The mindfulness app will present Open Breath + Sound, offering a transformational mind, body, and audio experience to visitors of DESIGN MIAMI.LA, taking place on May, 19 within the theatre space. The guided breathwork and meditation session is designed to reset the nervous system and make space for what’s next.

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